Game simulates the ongoing challenges of poverty
Sometimes, all it takes is one life-changing experience to land someone on the streets: a job loss, the death of a loved one, divorce, or some natural disaster.
That's the underlying message of Spent, an online point-and-click game game in which players are asked to make tough decisions while earning minimum wages, like those often found in retailing or fast food.
The game was created by ad agency McKinney for pro bono client Urban Ministries of Durham to highlight the challenges and tradeoffs faced by low-income earners trying to break out of the poverty cycle.
The dilemmas in the game are based on real-life experiences of people served by UMD, which maintains a homeless shelter and outreach program for the disenfranchised.
It really seems next to impossible. The expenses rack up as users make choices on everything from housing to healthcare to unforeseen life circumstances like broken down cars and sick kids.
While everyone faces either/or financial decisions, they generally aren't so dire. Have you ever lived that close to the edge? Have things improved?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money